'It's not me, it's my twin!' Hampshire fraudster caught doing martial arts claimed he couldn't work

Robert Wood claimed videos showing him doing martial arts training were actually of his twin brother. Credit: Clyde & Co

A man from Hampshire who was seeking £43,000 compensation for alleged injuries to his neck and arm, tried to claim that videos of him taking part in martial arts training during his recovery period were actually of his twin brother.

In 2018, Robert Wood, of Eastleigh, claimed he was unable to work after a minor car accident at Town Quay in Southampton.

Mr Wood said he had been struck on the arm by a taxi while he was unloading his vehicle.

He told insurers his neck had been injured for three weeks while his right wrist remained injured for approaching three years.

Videos showed Robert Wood punching when he claimed to have injuries to his wrist Credit: Clyde & Co

He wanted compensation for financial loss and damage.

But Aviva, whose policyholder was the taxi firm, became suspicious because of the apparent severity of Mr Wood's injuries after a minor accident, and discrepancies in accounts.

An investigation by law firm Clyde & Co discovered social media footage taken during the period when Mr Wood claimed he was injured and unable to work.

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They showed the 42 year old performing martial arts kicks and punches and swinging by his arms from a climbing frame. 

But when Mr Wood was confronted he denied the videos were of himself and said they showed his twin brother, Andrew, instead. 

But his twin has distinctive blonde highlights in his hair... Mr Wood's hair is brown.

And promises of corroborative evidence from the twin brother never materialised.

Mr Wood claimed videos like this were actually of his twin brother, Andrew Credit: Clyde & Co

Just before the final hearing of the case Mr Wood decided to drop his claim, admitted that he had been dishonest, and agreed to pay Aviva £13,000 in costs.

Elinor Willis, Legal Director at Clyde & Co, said: “Mr Wood’s attempt to defraud Aviva wasted the court’s valuable time and left him £13,000 worse off.

"It’s a hard way to learn the lesson that this type of insurance fraud will not be tolerated.

"Claimants like Mr Wood may think they’re onto a winner but we put suspicious claims like these under a microscope.” 

Mr Wood claimed he couldn't work due to a wrist injury. Credit: Clyde & Co

Pete Ward, Head of Fraud, Aviva, said: “We are passionate about defending spurious injury claims, in order to protect our customers from inflated costs. 

"This case is a terrific example of Aviva’s robust approach to detecting fraud – specifically, the result of great detective work by our dedicated Casualty and Bodily Injury team, supported by our legal panel, delivering a great outcome for our customers.”